Nationals vs. Cubs Pick
Oddsmakers at sports book Bovada.lv have listed the Nationals as a -125 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Cubs are a +105 underdog. An over-under has not yet been set due to Wrigley Field wind factors. Odds will be updated once they are released.
Washington evened the series at 1-1 Saturday via a 6-3 victory. Five of the nine meetings have been won by the Nationals this year, while the total has gone under five times.
On the hill for Washington will be Scherzer (16-6, 2.51 ERA), while Chicago will go with Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15). Scherzer held a 0.90 WHIP with 268 strikeouts in 200 2/3 innings during the regular season. He pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball in his last regular season start, allowing one hit with five strikeouts and one walk over 4-1 home loss to the Pirates unil he was forced to leave with a hamstring injury. Scherzer has a 1.82 ERA in 103 2/3 regular season innings one the road. He allowed one earned run on two hits with six strikeouts and no walks over six innings in a win over the Cubs the lone time he faced them this year. Quintana compiled a 122 WHIP with 208 strikeouts over 188 2/3 regular season innings. He has a 4.94 ERA over 89 1/3 home innings this season.
In Saturday's victory by Washington, Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer to tie the game in the eighth inning and Ryan Zimmerman hit a go-ahead three-run homer moments later. Anthony Rendon was 1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs. Oliver Perez picked up the win in relief and Sean Doolittle earned the save. Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 with a double and a run for the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer. Carl Edwards Jr. suffered the loss in relief.
What the Nationals get out of Scherzer will be the major storyline here. All indications are he is recovered from the hamstring issue and his bullpen session a couple days ago reportedly went very well. But the Cubs are no slouches at the plate and will take advantage anywhere he is not at his best. Wind doesn't seem like it be much of a factori, although it is blowing in slightly from right field. Expect Chicago to be at its best now that the series is at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs would love to end it. Quintana is capable of tossing a gem and we like the Cubs in this spot.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: CHICAGO CUBS +105